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Power Instruments


Admission requirements

This course serves as the introductory course for the minor Global Affairs and can thus only be followed as part of the minor or the track. The minor is accessible for bachelor students who have obtained their ‘propedeuse’ and have a keen interest in global affairs, but the level of teaching is most suitable for third-year students, particularly of Political Science, Public Administration, Law and International Studies. If there are any uncertainties about the suitability of your programme and profile to the minor, please do not hesitate to send an email to .


The concluding course of the minor Global Affairs will discuss ‘Power Instruments.’ During this course, students will learn about and discuss the power instruments of diplomacy, economy and military in a globalised and changing world. The main question will be: what are the consequences of the geopolitical developments for the use of the power instruments? How effective is diplomacy? How effective are economic sanctions and the use of military force? To conclude the course students will write a paper in which they will be required to research the efficacy of power instruments in a specific case.

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students will be able to:

  • explain and apply the concept of coercion;

  • apply the concept of coercion on specific cases;

  • demonstrate a well-founded understanding of the use of diplomacy, economic sanctions and military force in international politics;

  • outline the most prominent studies on coercion


On the Global Affairs frontpage of the E-guide you will find a link to the timetable.

Mode of instruction

The class will consist mainly of lectures and class debates in which current affairs pertaining to the course content will be discussed and analysed.

Assessment method

Research paper (50%)
Final exam (50%)

You can find more information about date and location assessments in the timetable.
Details for submitting papers (deadlines) are posted on Blackboard.

On the Global Affairs frontpage of the E-guide you will find a link to the timetable, uSis and Blackboard.


Students will be permitted to resit an examination if they have taken the first sit and have a mark lower than 5.5 or with permission of the Board of Examiners.

Resit written exam

Students that want to take part in a resit for a written exam, are required to register via uSis. Use the activity number that can be found on the ‘timetable exams’.



Reading list

Nye, J.S. (2011), ‘The Future of Power’, New York: Public Affairs
Wijk, R. de (2014), ‘The Art of Military Coercion’, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press
More articles and readings will be decided upon right before and during the course.


Use both uSis and Blackboard to register for every course.

Register for every course and workgroup via uSis. In uSis you can access your personal schedule and view your results. Registration in uSis is possible from four weeks before the start of the course.

Also register for every course in Blackboard. Important information about the course is posted here.


Prof.dr. Rob de Wijk, The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies

Contact information

For general questions about the minor Global Affairs:

For specific questions about the course, please contact the secretary of prof.dr. Rob de Wijk, Ms Daniella Kranendonk:


This course can only be taken as part of the minor Global Affairs.